This is a wonderful time of the year because there are great shows on television. I record some, but the chances of watching them are not so good because I am always busy.
Last week Stuart, my therapy dog, and I had our normal (and always fun) nursing home visit, and we enjoyed students from elementary schools in Beech Grove reading to us.
We had several errands to run on Friday, one of which was to purchase a warm coat for Stuart to wear the next day. We were going to help out The Salvation Army by ringing the bell at the Kroger at Madison and Edgewood avenues. I picked out a nice coat but was advised to purchase a size larger. As we attempted to try it on when we got home, Stuart informed me that it was way too tight around his chest. We exchanged it for an extra-large one, which seemed to fit nicely.
We started ringing the bell at 10 a.m. Saturday. I showed Stuart several times that he could hold the handle of the bell in his teeth and gently shake his head, but he gave me that “Are you crazy?” look. We were on duty for an hour. The next two hours were assigned to Stuart’s good friend Charlie O’Donkey, who had the 11 a.m.-1 p.m. shift.
We hung around for a little while. All of a sudden Stuart noticed that Charlie had the bell in his mouth and was ringing it. Stuart once again dispatched one of his looks my way. This one was “No way!” and he began looking toward the car. He was ready to go on break.
We came back in a couple of hours. Charlie and his human family from The Southport Equestrian Center had a wonderful time ringing the bell. Folks were allowed to give Charlie small carrots.
We were back on duty for a couple of hours, and many friends and former classmates stopped by to donate to the copper kettle.
Saturday evening I attended the Southport-Ben Davis boys basketball game. At halftime the late Tom Hathaway, Southport’s legendary cross-country coach who lead the boys and girls teams to a combined seven state championships, was honored.
I enjoyed visiting with folks who I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was special to chat with coach Hathaway’s wife, Jane. There were stories being told and retold all night.
This week is going to be busy also. Stuart and I have our regular visits on our calendar. These are special, and we look forward to them.
Wednesday morning I’m having breakfast with some of the folks who I worked with at Beech Grove Schools. My good friend Bill Bane coordinates these monthly breakfasts. Also on Wednesday I will have a lunch at Harry & Izzy’s with several members of my Southport High School graduating class. The Southsider Voice Christmas party is that night.
And that’s just Wednesday. ... I am a lucky guy.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.